Israel agreed Thursday to a joint investigation alongside Egypt of the events surrounding last week’s terror attacks in southern Israel which left eight Israelis dead.
The details of the investigation would be agreed upon by both Israel’s and Egypt’s militaries, according to National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror.
Amidror’s statement contradicts his earlier announcement wherein he claimed that the two countries would conduct individual investigations and compare their respective results.
According to Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm, a senior member of the Egyptian government stated that if Israel refuses to join the investigation, the Egyptian ambassador to Israel “would be recalled”.
An initial probe carried out by Egyptian security forces, says that three Egyptians were killed in reprisal for the attacks, all of which were members of an extremist Islamic group. One of them had escaped from an Egyptian prison during the revolution against Hosni Mubarak.
While Israel moved to ease tensions with Egypt, it mounted further attacks against Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, from where more than 20 rockets have been launched at southern Israel since Wednesday, despite a truce announced on Monday.
Five Palestinians, including a local commander of the Islamic Jihad group in the Gaza Strip, have been killed in the latest round of bloodshed.
The surge of violence began on August 18 when eight Israelis weer killed on a desert border road by gunmen who Israel has said infiltrated from the Gaza Strip via Egypt's neighboring Sinai desert.
Seven of the attackers were killed by Israeli forces and Egypt said five of its men died in the crossfire. The incident triggered the most serious diplomatic row with Egypt since a popular revolt overthrew former president Hosni Mubarak in February.
The violence between Israel and militants in the Gaza Strip threatens to unravel the shaky truce mediated by Egypt and the United Nations.
UN Middle East envoy Robert Serry, in a written statement, expressed his "deep concern" and called on all sides "to immediately take steps to prevent any further escalation".
Taher al-Nono, a Hamas spokesman, said any "understanding for calm must be mutual and we will not accept that Israel continues its killing of our people."
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